May 12, 2020
We hope this letter finds you and your family in good health. Our community has been through a lot over the last few months, and all of us are looking forward to resuming our normal habits and routines. While many things have changed, one thing has remained the same: our commitment to your safety.
Infection control has always been a top priority for our practice and you may have seen this during your visits to our office. Our infection control processes are made so that when you receive care, it’s both safe and comfortable. We want to tell you about the infection control procedures we follow in our practice to keep patients and staff safe.
Our office follows infection control recommendations made by the American Dental Association (ADA), the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), Minnesota State OSHA and the Minnesota Board of Dentistry (MN BOD). We follow the activities of these agencies so that we are up-to-date on any new rulings or guidance that may be issued.
You might have heard that dental care was ordered open by the state of Minnesota effective May 11. Though this is true, an office must prepare a plan of re-opening for review of the MN BOD. We are taking steps that are in the utmost interest and safety of patients and our employees. Having the proper personal protective equipment, protocols, training and procedures based on the latest scientific evidence is tantamount to successful and safe dental care in this new era of the latest coronavirus. Given the extra effort required for the safest possible dental office, we will resume normal appointments on May 20.
You may see some changes when it is time for your next appointment. We made these changes to help protect our patients and staff in light of emerging scientific understanding of the Coronavirus. For example:
- Our office will communicate with you beforehand to ask some screening questions. You’ll be asked those same questions again when you are in the office.
- We have hand sanitizer that we will ask you to use when you enter the office. You will also find some in the reception area and other places in the office for you to use as needed.
- Upon arrival we will be taking your temperature.
- You may see that our waiting room will no longer offer magazines, children’s toys and so forth, since those items are difficult to clean and disinfect.
- Appointments will be managed to allow for social distancing between patients. That might mean that you’re offered fewer options for scheduling your appointment.
- For patients already with scheduled appointments, we may be contacting you to adjust your appointment time in order to accommodate these changes.
- We will do our best to allow greater time between patients to reduce waiting times for you, as well as to reduce the number of patients in the reception area at any one time.
- In the event you need to wait to be seated in a treatment room or a ride brings you that needs to wait for you, we ask you to check in at the front desk and you or your ride will be issued a pager to take back to the car. The pager will be activated when it is time to be seated or when your ride can come in and assist you in exiting.
We look forward to seeing you again and are happy to answer any questions you may have about the steps we take to keep you, and every patient, safe in our practice. To make an appointment, please call our office at 507-532-3353 or visit our website atwww.smiledesignersmn.com.
Lastly, please realize this is a learning curve for all of us. Your patience and understanding during this transition is greatly appreciated. Our office and staff are implementing every single requirement, suggestion, and option offered to ensure your safety as well as comfort. Thank you for being our patient(s) and trusting us with your dental care. We value your loyalty and look forward to welcoming back our patients, neighbors, and friends.
Dr. Michael R. Thomas and the Smile Designers Team